Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Tuesday, November 5th
Game 2: Friday, November 29th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 18th
Game 4: Saturday, April 12th

SuperSonics 86

(39-41, 15-25 away)

Rockets 101


    7:30 PM ET, April 12, 2003

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 23 25 16 2286
    HOU 27 23 33 18101

    Top Performers

    Sea: B. Barry 23 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Hou: E. Griffin 15 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Mobley heats up in third quarter of Rockets' win

    HOUSTON (AP) _ The Houston Rockets are hoping their shooting touch didn't return too late.

    Cuttino Mobley

    Cuttino Mobley scored 13 of his 17 points in the third quarter as the Rockets beat Seattle 101-86 on Saturday night to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

    Steve Francis also had 17 points for the Rockets, who will be eliminated from playoff contention Sunday if the Phoenix Suns beat San Antonio at home.

    "We've got to win our and hope for the worst for them,'' Mobley said. "It hurts but I have a feeling it's coming down to the last game. We dug our own hole so we've got to sleep in it.''

    Seattle, playing its fourth game in five days, cut Houston's lead to 50-48 at halftime, but the Rockets used a 25-5 run to start the third quarter to put the SuperSonics away.

    Houston (41-39) shot 30 percent from the field in its two previous games but heated up against the Sonics and hit 50 percent from the field.

    "Those two games, I don't know what was on top of our heads, a black cloud or something,'' Mobley said. "But tonight, we got out there and took care of business.''

    Brent Barry led Seattle with 23 points, and Rashard Lewis added 19. Houston had seven players in double figures. Eddie Griffin and Glen Rice each had 15, Kelvin Cato 12, James Posey 11 and Yao Ming 10.

    "From the start of the game there was just no defense and a big mental letdown,'' Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "After a tough fight last night, we just didn't have it. There was no sense of urgency.''

    Rice and Francis took turns pushing the Rockets ahead in the first half. Francis had 13 first-quarter points and Rice scored 13 in the second period, helping Houston to its halftime lead.

    The Sonics scored the first seven points of the second quarter before Rice started shooting. He had three 3-pointers in the period. The Rockets built a 10-point lead at 43-33 with 5:49 but led by only two at the half. Barry had 12 second-quarter points for the Sonics.

    "I thought we were ready to play but it was a whole different story,'' Lewis said. "Fatigue could been a factor, but still it was embarrassing how we played. We didn't come to play. It seemed like our guys gave up out there.''

    Houston hit its first five shots of the game and jumped to a 12-4 lead, but the SuperSonics rallied behind former Houston high schooler Lewis, who scored nine straight Seattle points.

    "Defensively we came out with a lot of energy,'' Rockets acting coach Larry Smith said. "we set the tone early. We were aggressive and tonight, most of all, we made shots. Everyone chipped in and when we started to make shots, it was contagious.''

    Francis had 13 points in the quarter, including a driving slam with a second left that gave Houston a 27-23 lead.

    "We made shots tonight unlike the last two games,'' Francis said. "We made the shots in the third quarter and we were able to get out in transition. We were looking for each other and we were able to get easy shots.

    "It feels good to have an open game and to be able to get some easy buckets.''

    Game notes

    Yao leads all rookies with 26 double-doubles. ... In their two previous games, the Rockets had a combined 139 points, the second lowest two-game total in the NBA this season. Denver had 133 points over a two-game stretch.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 86 101
    FGM-FGA 29-72 (.403) 41-81 (.506)
    3PM-3PA 5-19 (.263) 6-17 (.353)
    FTM-FTA 23-29 (.793) 13-17 (.765)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-32 8-41
    Assists 20 24
    Turnovers 14 14
    Steals 5 10
    Blocks 2 5
    Fast Break Points 3 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 25 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Brent Barry Barry
    Points: 23
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Eddie Griffin Griffin
    Points: 15
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2